Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss


DASSIER, Jean: England, 1731, Bronze, 41 mm
Obv: Bust of Edward II    EDOUARD. II. D.G. ANG. ET. HIB. REX.
Rev: Sepulchral monument articulated with Doric pilasters. In the center is a bas-relief representing Gournay and Maltravers, in Roman attire, who are about to cover up the body of the monarch, whom they have just murdered in Berkeley Castle.
Exergue:  NAT. 1284. COR. 1307. MORT. 1327
Ref: M.I. i, p.5; Eimer 28/11; Eisler I, 256/2; Thompson 25/10;  Weiss BW601

Edward II (Edward of Caernarvon) (1284-1327) was King of England from 1307 to 1327. The actual coronation took place in 1308, not in 1307 as is indicated on the medal. Edward II was the fourth son of King Edward I. He led an army into Scotland in 1314 but was decisively defeated by Robert I (The Bruce) at Bannockburn. Scotland’s independence was virtually secured, and Edward was put at the mercy of a group of barons headed by his cousin Thomas of Lancaster, who had made himself the real master of England. Edward then aligned himself with Hugh le Despenser and his son. In 1325 Edward’s estranged queen, Isabella, went as an envoy to France where she formed an army with her lover, Roger Mortimer, who together invaded England, executed the Despensers, and forced Edward to abdicate in favor of his son, Edward III. Edward II was imprisoned at Berkeley Castel and in 1327 died, presumably murdered by Gournay and John Maltravers, the event commemorated on the reverse of this medal. (Thompson)